I have quite a few arcs to catch up on, but I’m hoping to get through a few of them in the coming weeks. I’ve also started two wonderful audiobooks that are currently blowing my mind. The first one is Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns. This book is insanely dark, whoa. The main character is inspired by Clockwork Orange, which definitely fills me with trepidation for how dark the book is going to get, but this narrator is great and Lawrence has really drawn me in with his writing! I’m also keen to start reading his books after learning about SPFBO. I really love that a bestselling author is constantly shining light on self-published books. How freaking awesome! I’m also listening to the audio book of Gardens of the Moon, which is the first in an epic fantasy series dating back to the 1990s. I’m really enjoying it so far.
Ask For Mercy: The Key To Forever (Season One) by Richard Starkings
Synopsis: An action-packed and artistically stunning dark fantasy story from Elephantmen creator, Richard Starkings and breakout talent, Abigail Jill Harding, making her series debut. Ask For Mercy is a World War II fantasy horror story in the tradition of John Carpenter’s The Thing and Sandman. Mercy is snatched from her own place and time to join a team of Monster Hunters who are actually Monsters themselves, and together they have to take on a Pantheon of Hideous Creatures summoned to our world by Nazi evil! This edition collects all six issues of the first series.
There was Histrionic Laughter at the Clown’s Cadaver by N. Alexsander Sidirov
Synopsis: Oscillating between lyrical poetry, dramatic, confessional, and abstract the only thing that seems consistent is the amount of surprise experienced every page. Calling this book a modern poetry collection feels somewhat of a misnomer considering the novel and avant-garde imagery, its ominous and often omnipresent eye, and ultimately the transcendental climax that is difficult to compare to other works in the genre. Each poem in this book has a specific place along an emotional odyssey that blisters with novelty and an almost lynchian flare for the surreal and absurd. Whether you ultimately enjoy his words you will decide, but one certainly can never forget them. This is the matter that dreams are made of…
Jinnik: The Asset: A Cold War Memory by Gideon Asche
Synopsis: From 1947 through 1991, the United States and her allies faced off against the Soviet Union and her proxy states in clandestine operations worldwide during the Cold War. It was not a conventional shooting war, but make no mistake, both sides lost thousands of brave men and women who fought for what they believed in. Eastern Europe was home to some of the most intense and harrowing missions as NATO forces directly opposed the Soviets behind the Iron Curtain. Jinnik: The Asset is the true story of one man’s role in the conflict.
Gideon Asche was the typical American soldier stationed in West Germany in 1979. He dreamed of getting out and going back home to California as a civilian who’d done his small part for liberty. Little did he know that his longtime girlfriend, Petra, was a Mossad agent who’d likely been recruiting him from the beginning. After his enlistment was up, Gideon found himself with an offer he couldn’t refuse: to become a covert operator helping people trapped beyond the lines of freedom.
For ten years, Gideon lived in the shadows under false identities, transiting border checkpoints and Eastern Bloc nations with supplies and much-needed cash for the resistance. He lost team members, contacts, and friends, but he made a difference in Eastern Europe. No mission was refused because it was too hard or had never been done before. The only thing that stopped him was his eventual capture and torture by the KGB in Bulgaria. Somehow, miraculously, he survived the ordeal to tell his story.
Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen #1) by Steven Erikson, Ralph Lister (Narrator)
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan Empire simmers with discontent.
Even its imperial legions yearn for some respite. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners and for Tattersail, sole surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, still holds out – and Empress Lasseen’s ambition knows no bounds.
However, it seems the empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister forces gather as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand….
Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire #1) by Mark Lawrence, Joe Jameson (Narrator)
Synopsis: Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother’s tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that’s true enough, but there’s something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse.
From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father’s castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.
Mark Lawrence’s debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.